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How to Check Your Neck for Abnormalities

How to Check Your Neck for Abnormalities
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Originally published on 6th June 2016
Last updated on 27th June 2019

Checking your neck for enlargement (goitre), nodules and other abnormalities is important to get in to the habit of regularly, so that you can get appropriate treatment, if needed, for anything that may be cause for concern. These can include a nodule, goitre, cyst or thyroid cancer. Catching these as soon as possible is obviously most ideal.

You can check your thyroid by following the below steps.

  1. Stand in front of a mirror, removing anything that doesn’t give you a clear view of your neck, like jumpers and scarves.
  2. Stretch your neck back, with your chin pointing towards the ceiling.
  3. Feel where your thyroid is, and around it, very gently, to see if you can feel any enlargement, lumps or pain.
  4. Closely look at your neck too, looking for any enlargement or lumpiness. Swallowing some water might help to highlight anything.
  5. If you think you can feel something not quite right, like any enlargement, tenderness (besides the uncomfortable feeling of touching your neck area) or lumps, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to get their opinion.

If you see a doctor who insists it is nothing to worry about, you may wish to see another doctor for a second opinion. They should further examine the neck and may also order further testing such as a scan or fine needle biopsy.

For more information on goitres, nodules and enlargement, please see this article.

Do you regularly check your neck?

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".

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